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Gary looking forward to new season

Greensnet Editor
Wed 15 Aug 2012, 14:39

Gary McCann is looking forward to the new season, the Greens' 50th consecutive in the top flight of the Isthmian League.

Last season, Hendon finished in seventh place, three points and two places away from the playoffs. The 72 points won by the Greens would have been enough for the playoffs in most seasons, but a crippling injury list, which started from the opening game, affected the club throughout the campaign and poor results against struggling teams cost them dearly.

But Gary was more interested in looking forward than back as he spoke to press officer David Ballheimer following Sunday's 1-0 win at Hitchin Town in the final preseason friendly.

"It has been a pretty positive preseason, though there were one or two indifferent results. It has been more important to control the players' minutes during preseason than the overall results.

"As for yesterday, I thought we were good value for the win and we probably should have scored more. That said, we had to thank goalkeeper Berkley Laurencin (who saved a penalty when the match was still goalless) for some good saves.

"We are going to have a couple of good training sessions before the opening game on Saturday. There are a few things we will be working on and making sure that everyone is ready.

"My hope for this season is to go one step further than last year. I do think it will be a tougher ask than last season, because we won't be creeping up on anyone this time around. Everyone who saw last season knows that we are a good team.

"I believe there are going to be a large number of clubs challenging for the title - the teams relegated from Conference South in April, Whitehawk, who have spent a lot of money, Lowestoft, Wealdstone, Bury and Margate.

"When I spoke with my management team before preseason started, I said that I wanted to have a tough start to the season. I think all of our first four League opponents are all likely to be top 7-8 candidates.

"But I think we have a good enough squad. We have added very good players including Dean Cracknell (from Welling United) and Bradley Wadkins (Chesham United), and we have not lost too many of last year's squad – the main departures being Jamie Busby (taking a year out) and Elliott Godfrey (to Staines).

"We will also be getting back Elliott Brathwaite, Carl McCluskey and Lee O'Leary from long-term injury list in the first few weeks of the season and we'll have Scott Shulton for the full season."